If you are a parent of a toddler than you know just going to the store with a toddler in tow can be difficult at times. The entire trip can depend on their mood, lack of sleep or their need for mealtime. For some moms, experiencing a tantrum in aisle two with their toddler happens almost every single time they’re at the store together. If this is you, take a deep breath. We’re here to help with 11 tips for traveling with toddlers.
- Basic needs come first – Make sure your toddler is fed and has gone potty or is changed before leaving the house.
- Choose a family friendly destination – Skip the adult only destinations and choose a place where he/she can walk freely for a few minutes and be in the company of other children and families.
- Safety first – Always make sure your child is belted properly and securely in the shopping cart or stroller. Standing up in either can cause a serious fall and injury.
- Pack entertainment – Lucky for our generation (and theirs), tablets and iPhones are easy to pack and educational games are easy to install to keep your little one busy. Is your child too young for electronics? Bring their favorite book or hand-held interactive toy to keep them occupied.
- Plan potty stops – If you’re driving a far distance, break up the boring drive by stopping every couple of hours for potty breaks (great for those in training) or a diaper change. Let your little one walk or run around a bit once they’re out of the car. Playing tag or “Tickle Monster” can help lighten the mood too!
- Be flexible – Don’t expect too much of your little one. Let your child soak up the travel experience and destination at his or her own pace. You might want to limit your activities to one a day in between naps or meals to make it easier for both of you.
- Bring water and plenty of snacks – Fresh fruit, juice boxes, water and cereal or cereal bars make for great, healthy snacks and always keep a toddler busy while mom shops or drives.
- Bring a stuffed friend – Almost all toddlers have a favorite stuffed animal. If they don’t then they probably have a favorite blankie. Some have both! Bring them along for the trip. Soothing toys and blankets can help your child sleep on the road and they may just make your toddler feel more comfortable while experiencing a new place with new people.
- Start and end your day early – Kids are ready to go after a good night’s sleep. Moods are usually best in the morning too, so plan your excursion accordingly.
- Stick to a routine – Children feel safe and secure when there is a schedule. Eating scheduled meals, sleeping, snacking and playing at the same time each day will make your child feel confident and comfortable. The day will be much easier for you to plan out too!
- Take pictures – Take it all in and save the memories. Your child is only young once. Enjoy every moment and take lots of photos to carry those memories with you through life. Use the photos when your child is older for fun conversations and family sharing. They’ll thank you for it and you’ll love reminiscing too!
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